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CPS statement on Kiaran Stapleton


Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West Area, said: "Anuj Bidve's murder in the early hours of Boxing Day last year was a terrible crime which shocked and appalled us all. It is all the more tragic because it was completely senseless.

"Anuj had his whole life ahead of him. He was young and bright, a talented student who was enjoying his time at Lancaster University. His parents were understandably very proud of him. They sent him to the UK to continue his studies and fulfil his ambitions but tragically came here themselves to take his body back home. They have been here throughout the trial and today have seen the jury return their verdict that Kiaran Stapleton is guilty of murder.

"Kiaran Stapleton shot Anuj, an innocent and defenceless man, at close range without warning or provocation. Thankfully such crimes of truly random and brutal violence are extremely rare.

"It was a cowardly murder, and his reaction afterwards in trying to cover his tracks, hide from police and evade justice was also cowardly.  

"Since the moment that he killed Anuj, and throughout this trial, he has shown no trace of remorse and no concern for the pain his family are going through. Two days after the murder, he even went to a tattoo shop and got a teardrop tattoo. It was a sign we say that he was boasting about the murder, that he thought it gave him some sort of notoriety.

"Only when he realised that the evidence against him was overwhelming did he plead guilty to manslaughter, admitting that he pulled the trigger but claiming that at the time of the killing his responsibility for his actions was diminished.

"The prosecution case has always been that Kiaran Stapleton knew exactly what he was doing at the time of the shooting and in the days afterwards. All the evidence supported that, and for that reason we refused to accept his plea to manslaughter and pursued a trial for murder. We have proved our case to the jury, and I am pleased that together the CPS and Greater Manchester Police prosecution team have been able to deliver justice for Anuj's family today.

"My thoughts and sympathies are very much with them as Kiaran Stapleton faces a life sentence for Anuj's murder."